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More clues to causes of breast cancer: Hyperactivation of Akt and overexpression of IKBKE observed in 50 percent of human cancers

Date:
December 14, 2011
Source:
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Summary:
Researchers have discovered additional mechanisms of "Akt" activation and suggest a component of that activation mechanism -- inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B kinase subunit epsilon (IKBKE) -- could be targeted as a therapeutic intervention for treating cancer.

Publishing in the current issue of The Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., have discovered additional mechanisms of "Akt" activation and suggest a component of that activation mechanism -- inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa-B kinase subunit epsilon (IKBKE) -- could be targeted as a therapeutic intervention for treating cancer.

Akt, also known as protein kinase B, is one of about 500 protein kinases in the human genome. Kinases are known to regulate the majority of cellular pathways. Akt modifies other proteins chemically and regulates cell proliferation.

"Recent evidence suggests that IKBKE is an oncogenic kinase that participates in malignant transformation and tumor development," said Moffitt senior researcher and lead author Jin Q. Cheng, Ph.D., M.D. "Our study identified Akt as a bona fide substrate of IKBKE and IKBKE direct activation of Akt independent PI3K and revealed a functional link between IKBKE and Akt activation in breast cancer."

Cheng's lab studies a variety of genetic alterations and their molecular mechanisms in both ovarian and breast cancer, particularly on their effect on the molecules that are regulated by Akt and the small molecule inhibitors of Akt.

"We found that inhibition of Akt suppresses IKBKE's oncogenic transformation," said Cheng. "This is significant because overexpression of IKBKE and activation of Akt has been observed in more than 50 percent of human cancers. Akt inhibitors targeting PH domain do not have inhibitory effect on IKBKE-induced Akt."

The researchers experimented with a variety of inhibitors currently being used in clinical trials.

The laboratory study utilized breast cancer cell lines from received from patient donors at Moffitt and cell lines received from Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University. The work was supported by a National Institutes of Health grant and a grant from the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J.-P. Guo, D. Coppola, J. Q. Cheng. IKBKE Protein Activates Akt Independent of Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase/PDK1/mTORC2 and the Pleckstrin Homology Domain to Sustain Malignant Transformation. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2011; 286 (43): 37389 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.287433

Cite This Page:

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. "More clues to causes of breast cancer: Hyperactivation of Akt and overexpression of IKBKE observed in 50 percent of human cancers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111027125239.htm>.
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. (2011, December 14). More clues to causes of breast cancer: Hyperactivation of Akt and overexpression of IKBKE observed in 50 percent of human cancers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111027125239.htm
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. "More clues to causes of breast cancer: Hyperactivation of Akt and overexpression of IKBKE observed in 50 percent of human cancers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111027125239.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

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